The tea set is served on a classic two-tiered stand, with sweets on top and savory items on the bottom. I tackled the salty bits first and enjoyed every one. The creamy egg salad came on a toasted round of buttery brioche and was topped with a generous slice of truffle. I devoured the mini-bagel sandwich with house-smoked salmon, cucumber and crème fraîche. The “crepe” was a little bundle of joy filled with luxurious foie gras, truffle and wine jelly. All the items were chilled except for the Parma ham, tomato and pesto panini. I asked if I could buy a second round of the savories but was told they were only available as a set. The Park Hyatt is missing an opportunity here.
I was equally satisfied with the sweets, starting with the tangy raspberry tart and a whisper-soft sour cream Swiss roll. Moving clockwise around the plate I came to a delightfully crunchy mille feuille filled with sweet vanilla cream and topped with raspberries and then a smooth orange cream financier topped with orange curd and chocolate. At the center was a cannelé bordelai whose soft texture and burnt sugar/caramel flavor left me wanting more.
I sipped my tea as the sun set over the city, and was left pondering how a blue-sky day as seen from the ground could be so deceiving. I will admit that the haze did create some lovely colors as the sun dipped below the horizon. At 6pm, Shanghai came to life as the surrounding skyscrapers turned on their lights. It was definitely better than watching TV in my own living room!
Living Room at the Park Hyatt Shanghai Address: 100 Century Avenue, 87th Floor, Pudong, Shanghai Pricing: afternoon tea set is 210 RMB (plus 15% hotel tax - about 39 USD total)